Kirk Leads Decathlon After Day One of Kansas Relays

By: From: KU Sports Information
By: From: KU Sports Information

LAWRENCE, Kan. - After day one of the 80th-anniversary Kansas Relays in the books, the University of Kansas' junior Josh Kirk turned in the highlight of the afternoon for the Jayhawks, ending the day with 3,686 points, good for first place in the decathlon. Freshmen Jacob Breth and Chelsea Helm sit in fifth and eight-place in the decathlon and heptathlon, respectively.

Kirk registered a personal-best in the high jump, clearing 6-05 (1.96m). In the five events completed Wednesday, Kirk had the best long jump and placed second in the 400-meter dash, the day's finale. He also registered a personal-best in the shot put of 40-01 (12.28M).

"I had some good events. I had a PR in the shot-put and the high-jump, so I am happy with those," Kirk said. "I think I had some pretty good marks. Going into tomorrow, if I can do that again, I think I will be alright."

Breth, in his first collegiate decathlon, has amassed 3,343 points through five events. The freshman had the second-best time in the 400-meter dash (50.95), beating out Kirk down the backstretch of the race.

"I ran the 400-meter dash in high school, and I think that showed in my performance today," Breth said. "As for the other events, I haven't done them in the decathlon before. This was only my fourth meet this year. I am pretty happy with my performance."

Helm, who also competed in the pentathlon in the indoor season, totaled 2,282 points through four events completed Wednesday. Her time of 16.40 in the 100-meter hurdles was a personal best.

"There are things that I'm proud of and things that I need to work on," Helm said. "I think I did the best in the 100-meter hurdles. I have had some trouble with those, and I got through the whole race, so I was proud of myself. I got the day started off well."

Coach Tom Hays was pleased with Kirk's performance on the day.

"Josh Kirk was a little disappointed with his 400-meter dash, but he has not trained for that race yet," Hays said. "The high-jump was a PR for him, which is good. We have really worked hard on making him stronger, and that really showed in the shot-put."

The decathlon and pentathlon resume Thursday morning. In other events Thursday, reining Big 12 hammer throw champion Egor Agafonov competes in the hammer at noon at Memorial Stadium. Sophomore Zlata Tarasova, the Kansas school record holder in the hammer throw, competes at 4:30 pm. Friday night, the distance carnival kicks off with the women's 800-meter run at 5 pm.

80th Kansas Relays

April 18 - Lawrence, Kan.

University of Kansas Quotes

KU Assistant Coach Tom Hayes

On KU's performance on Wednesday:

"Josh Kirk was a little disappointed with his 400-meter dash, but he has not trained for that race yet. The high-jump was a PR for him, which is good. We have really worked hard on making him stronger, and that really showed in the shot-put."

Freshman Chelsea Helm

On her performance:

"I did ok. There are things that I'm proud of and things that I need to work on. I think I did the best in the 100-meter hurdles. I have had some trouble with those, and I got through the whole race, so I was proud of myself. I got the day started off well."

On the shot put:

"The shot went really well. I threw 33-06 (10.23m) - it wasn't my best, but it was still pretty good. I am not sure what my time was in the 200-meter. The high-jump is where I need to go back and work on. I was really proud of my hurdles and shot today."

On Thursday's events:

"I am having a great time and am ready for tomorrow. I just want to come out and do my best in each event, and see what happens."

Junior Josh Kirk

On his performance:

"I had some good events. I had a PR in the shot-put and the high-jump, so I am happy with those. I think I had some pretty good marks. Going into tomorrow, if I can do that again, I think I will be alright."

Freshman Jacob Breth

On his performance in the decathlon:

"I ran the 400-meter dash in high school, and I think that showed in my performance today. As for the other events, I haven't done them in the decathlon before. This was only my fourth meet this year. I am pretty happy with my performance."


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